Best Places To Retire, According To Money Magazine

Bangor, Maine, Is Among Top 25

Geography of Frugality? Some of the Top 25, But Not All.

A little bit of Main Street in downtown Bangor, Maine.

A little bit of Main Street in downtown Bangor, Maine.

It’s a good thing my niece and her husband, along with my sister, have a signed contract to buy a wonderful 100-year-old house in Brewer, Maine. Money Magazine has named Brewer’s neighbor, Bangor, Maine, as one of the 25 best places to retire in the U.S. Do you think house prices might go up?

Money mentions Bangor’s “four-season” climate as one of the area’s attractions. But I’m thinking retirees will not stampede to enjoy the frosty, northern climate. More likely, retirees will consider some of the magazine’s Sun Belt recommendations. Bangor and it’s twin city, Brewer, just across the Penobscot River, will remain unspoiled by fame, is my prediction.

Some, but not all, of the cities recommended by Money could qualify for my “geography of frugality” concept. Here are the top five on the list of 25:

  1. Port Charlotte, Fla., home prices down a whopping 63 percent; price of an average, three-bedroom house, $170,000.
  2. Palm Springs, Calif., home prices down 44 percent; average three-bedroom house, $$250,000.
  3. Traverse City, Mich., home prices down 20 percent; average three-bedroom house, $250,000.
  4. Pinehurst, N.C., home prices down 27 percent; average three-bedroom house, $300,000.
  5. Surprise, Ariz., home prices down 48 percent; average three-bedroom house, $150,000.

Hmm, Port Charlotte and Surprise sound like good places to hunt for bargain-priced  housing, if you’re interested in the Sun Belt. But Pinehurst, where an average three-bedroom house is $300,000, doesn’t sound so frugal. Money Magazine provided the average price for three-bedroom houses for all 25 cities listed. Unfortunately, it  gave the percentage price decline only for the first five.

In Bangor, number 23 on Money’s list, the average price of a three-bedroom house is $165,000. My relatives snapped up their bargain house for less than $150,000. Bangor also has an international airport, a great bus system (I have this fantasy of saving money by living without a car), cultural attractions, and major regional medical facilities.

Then there’s the city of Philadelphia, at Number 10 on Money Magazine’s list. With an average three-bedroom house costing $375,000, Philly is way too pricey, in my opinion. I think I’ll investigate Surprise, Ariz., where prices are down a whopping 48 percent.

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